Problems the world must face

This article was originally published in August 2005 in my print publication, Trove Mini-Magazine.  I am re-printing it here because it seems even more relevant now than when I first published it.
About the  world population figure: I have left it  as I stated it at that time although I am certain there are quite a few more of  us on this planet now than there was seven years ago.  


The world as we know it cannot long endure. Does that sound like a startling pronouncement?  I have to fight panic when I think about it.

The main thing of interest to us about the world we live in is the other people that live in it with us.  Think of all the people on earth—the teeming masses.

Nobody wants to see children die of epidemic illnesses as happened in previous times. No one wants pandemics to kill huge numbers of people; but the fact is, even while those things were taking place in past centuries, the world’s population never ceased to grow and has now reached–give or take one or two million—6,500,000,000 people. That’s a crowd!

My husband and I live in a house all by ourselves, but we can’t always manage to agree or to stay out of each other’s way. Whenever people live to-gether, there are bound to be conflicts. As the world shrinks during our great information age, we are thrown into more and more contact with people of varying cultures, beliefs, hopes and expectations.

Were you ever jealous because your brother or sister or a friend received a bigger dish of ice cream than you did?   Of course you were. That’s the nature—the human nature—with which we are born.  And all over the world there are people who believe they are not getting their full dish of ice cream. And it’s not like there is enough of it to go around. Even the most generous of sharing policies will not fix the problem.

The blessings of this earth are finite.  Sure, there’s a lot of oil, coal, diamonds and gold in the world.  There is the capacity to grow food enough to feed the many people on earth—NOW!  But the capacity of the population to increase is infinite.  It is entirely possible that unless we are able to somehow escape the limi-tations of our tiny home planet, we will someday outgrow our resources, use up our fossil fuel, find ourselves scrambling for the basic necessities of food, water and even clean, breathable air.

It took all of human history for the world to reach its current population, but it is projected to double in the next fifty years—in the lifetime of your children. The world population increase every three years is currently almost equal to the entire present population of theUnited States!

What is the certain result of over-population of the earth? The answer—one we have already seen beginning to increase throughout the planet–is strife. It is human nature to want your share of the available supply of ice cream. All the various societal entities in the world will be trying to control the ice cream scoop.  I do not fear the end of the world, but I do fear that chaos may over-take us first.

By Betty L. Killebrew


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Daddy’s Little Girl

There’s a picture on my wall—
The one I love the most of all.

In the photo she is grinning
With her little face so winning

That it always brings good cheer
Though it’s hung there many years.

She is beautiful in the photo, as she is today;
But she’s no longer like that baby in any other way;

And yet when she drops in
And I see her “grown-up” grin

A “baby image” seems to place
Itself across her grown-up face,

And for a moment I can see
That baby girl so dear to me.

By a Father (Name Withheld)

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Exodus 24, vs. 1-11 with Betty

1And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.

2 And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.

3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.

4 And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.

5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord.

6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.

7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.

8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.

9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:

10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.

11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thoughts:

Exodus Chapter 24 begins with the Lord inviting Moses and the elders of Israel to come up onto the mount to see Him.  Moses alone would be allowed to approach close to God but the elders would see him from further off.  So Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel were able to  go up the mount toward God.

I suppose from years of attending church I should have known about these elders going up the mount and seeing the Lord God, but I confess that I did not.  I have even read the book of Exodus several times previously but did not recall this.  It seems significant that the Lord wanted to be known by more than just Moses and Aaron.  Having seen the Lord God for themselves, each of these elders must have been impressed by his almighty power and glory and would undoubtedly have encouraged all the people to live according to the laws and commandments given to Moses and Aaron and relayed through them to the children of Israel.

Betty Killebrew

To read more of Betty’s thoughts, click on the link shown below

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A Mother’s Prayer for Guidance

Lord, it is hard to be a mother.

I am concerned when my children misbehave. Help me to have patience with them and continue to correct them as is needed in your sight.

I am concerned when my children suffer illness.  Help them to be strong and well in body and in mind.

I am concerned about my children’s future. Help me to raise them to be diligent workers that they may earn their way in the world.

I am concerned for their salvation.  Help my children to believe on you and live according to your will so that they may enjoy an eternity in heaven with you.

I ask these blessings for my children in the name of Christ Jesus.       


 B. Killebrew

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Exodus 23, vs. 20-33 with Betty

20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.

21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.

22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.

23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.

24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

25 And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.

26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil.

27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.

28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.

29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.

30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.

32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.

33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thoughts:

In today’s reading, we learn that God promised the Israelites an angel to go before them and lead them to the place that he has provided.  He asks the people to obey the angel as he leads them through the lands of the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.  He promises that he will cut those people off and with the help of the angel, little by little they would overcome these other nations.

The Lord also cautioned them not to remain in those foreign lands or to make covenants with them or their gods.  He promised His people that in return for their service to Him he would overturn their enemies and increase them and they would inherit the land.

Thus did the Lord God provide for His people.

As we have seen, the Lord God gave rules for personal interactions and rules for interacting with Him. After the many years of slavery in Egypt,  the Lord has used their first months outside of captivity preparing them to inherit the promised land.

Betty Killebrew

 To read more of Betty’s thoughts, click on the link shown below

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A Rainy Day

When you’re sad, rainy days seem to make it worse. Can you identify with my “Rainy Day” poem?    B.K.

The sky is crying and so am I;
Neither I nor the sky know exactly why.

I am crying and I am blue;
The sky is crying from a darker hue.

How wonderful if the sky were blue
And rain was dried up and my tears dried too.

But I fear the sun will shine long before
My smile ever returns anymore;

But if the sky were bright blue today
At least there’d be sunshine to brighten my way.

 Betty Killebrew

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Teach your Children about Easter

We must teach our children the meaning of Easter,
Of the day of triumph oe’r death,
The day that our Savior, three days passed away,
Arose and again drew breath.

The eggs and the chicks and the bunnies are fun,
And through them new life’s symbolized;
But it’s only by learning of Christ’s great love
That a child’s faith is actualized.

So at Easter this year, somewhere in the baskets,
Tuck in with the gifts in the grass
A personal promise that before the day’s out
You will give them the message that lasts.

Tell your children our Savior’s love was so great
He was willing to die on the cross,
And because this sacrifice was made,
Our own lives need never be lost.

Teach your children to praise and adore Him
And recall the great thing that was done,
For it is through Jesus, and only through Him,
That a child’s precious soul can be won.

B. Killebrew

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The Tulips

 Of course, this story is not true; but yet it tells the truth, because our life on earth is a mere blink in ageless eternity; and Jesus has made us a promise of a place where time has no meaning and love forever endures.
One day in the early fall, a little girl was helping her widowed mother plant bulbs in the soil. While it didn’t seem there could be any life in the seemingly dead objects, the little girl’s mother told her about the many different colors of tulips that would arise from the bulbs in the spring.

The little girl said, “I am sorry I will not see that.”

Her mother thought the little girl did not understand how seasons change, so she told her all about the cycle of plant life.  The little girl smiled.  

Later that year, at Thanksgiving time, the little girl took her turn giving thanks.  “I am thankful my mother will see all the beautiful tulips in the spring,” she said.  Her mother did not notice that her daughter had not said she also would see the tulips. 

At Christmas time the little girl suggested to her mother that she spend less on Christmas gifts that year.  “I would be so happy if you spent what you usually spend for me to give gifts to poor children,” she said.   

Her mother did as her daughter asked. 

One day shortly after Christmas the little girl sat down with a fat pencil and began to write on her lined paper. When she had finished, she folded the paper and placed it in her Bible.  

 The next day the little girl did not feel well.  She did not go to school. All day she stayed in her little bed. She told her mother she felt very tired.  

Her mother thought if her daughter was not better the next day, she would take her to the doctor; but by the next morning the angels had come for the little girl. 

Of course the mother was extremely sad, sadder than she had ever been. She was very sad for a very long time.   

Then one day the mother was sitting on the edge of her daughter’s wee bed weeping.  Her eyes fell on the child’s Bible on the bedside table. The corner of a piece of paper could be seen extending from between the pages. 

The mother opened the Bible and unfolded the paper.  In her daughter’s childish scrawl a message was written.  “Jesus told me to tell you to look at the tulips.”   

When her mother read this she went to the window.  Outside she saw an array of beautiful colors spread across the plot where she had worked beside her daughter in the fall.  The tulips had bloomed.  

In the center of the patch was a group of tulips in a bright yellow hue—a hue unlike that of all the other tulips. There were two straight lines of the yellow tulips. amidst all the other random colors.  They crossed each other. 

Looking at His cross of tulips, the mother knew that Jesus was telling her that her daughter was in heaven with Him.  After that, although she missed her little girl all of her remaining life, she was never quite so sad again because she knew without doubt she would see her once more in heaven where little girls who pass away far too young bloom with as much vitality as a seemingly dead tulip bulb blooms in the spring.

Elizabeth Ruth

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Exodus 23, vs. 14-19 with Betty

14 Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.

15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:)

16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.

17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the LORD God.

18 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning.

19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
K.J.V. Bible Text

 My Thoughts:

When I read the verses of today’s reading, I was somewhat confused. To clarify for myself exactly what three feasts the Hebrews were to celebrate, I looked at a newer version of the Bible, Today’s New International version. The simple language I found there immediately clarified Exodus 23 verse 16 for me and then I could clearly see in the King James Version, which I use as text for this column, that there are two feasts related to harvest, the feast of first fruits and the feast of ingathering at the end of the year.

Giving thanks to God is a concept we well understand in relation to harvest. At the beginning of the settlement of our great country by the first pilgrims, a feast was held to celebrate the harvest of their first crops. We still commemorate that occasion and the plenty we now enjoy with our Thanksgiving feasts.

I notice that the Lord God told the people not to come to him empty handed but to bring sacrifices of the first fruits of the land. I don’t think God needs to receive sacrifices from us, however. I believe He knows we need to give sacrifice to him. Only by giving back to the Lord some of what we receive from him can we truly appreciate our bounty.

Betty Killebrew

Read more of Betty’s thoughts by clicking on the link shown below.

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